Grass Fed Beef What you need to Know - Why Prices are UP

Just in the last year (2012 to 1 March 2013), my cost to raise Grass Fed Beef increased OVER: 110% Hay; 15% Irrigation water; 14 % Farm Electricity; 8% Property Taxes; & ???

I work part time (1/3 of the year) to help pay the bills (keep my Grass Fed Beef business), but I have not gotten a pay raise or increase in income to keep up with the above, thus price increased. NASS (National Agricultural Statistical Services) or www.nass.usda.gov “Average age of farmers: 2007 - 57.1; (28 % of the farmers are over 65)” “Farm operators and their households incur nearly all of the risks of farming and are directly impacted by government agricultural policies.” “Farm/ranch operators and their households do not depend solely on income from the farm/ranch business. Off-farm work is critical to the financial well-being of many farm households. Past surveys have shown that:

Grass Fed Beef
What customers need to know in purchasing Grass Fed Beef

It would be wise for buyer to know the difference between grass fed, natural, organic, free range, range fed; and that the seller should be able to explain the difference to them.

Grass Fed Beef producers keep our livestock from gestation & birth to “Harvest” and delivery of the meat to the customer. This is how we can say that it is hormone free, antibiotic free, been raised on grass and been humanely treated it’s whole life. We keep records on all our cattle, as that is how we know what has been done to them, who their mother and father is, and etc.

We are finding more people coming into our business: that are buying livestock from auctions and other places. Then say they are selling grass fed beef. They have no idea how that animal was treated, what vaccinations, antibiotics, and/or hormones it has had. They put the animal/s on their pastures for 4 months or so, then sell the beef as grass fed beef.

Buyers should ask the following questions when purchasing Grass Fed Beef:
How long has the seller owned the cow, steer or heifer?
Do they have the mother (cow), grandmother (cow), the father (bull) to the animal you will get?
What kind of hay do they feed the cattle?
What kind of plants grow in their pastures?
What kind of grain do they feed their cattle? (If they feed any grain - corn, barley, wheat, soybean, and/or sugar/starch additives - like fruit pulp, potato waste; they are not grass fed.)
What vaccinations do you give the animals?
Has this animal had any antibiotics or hormones?
Do you keep records on your animals?
Is the animal slaughtered, the cutting & wrapping done in a WSDA or USDA Inspected facility?
Are you Animal Welfare Approved or certified humane by any other group?
Where is and can we come see your operation?
Where are the cows and calves